Love Your Local: The Golden Lion, Fareham

Fareham pub landlord Douglas McEwen serving customers with his wife Diane in the Golden Lion which has just been featured in the good Beer guide.''Picture: Steve Reid (122992-477)
Fareham pub landlord Douglas McEwen serving customers with his wife Diane in the Golden Lion which has just been featured in the good Beer guide.''Picture: Steve Reid (122992-477)
James Taylor at his desk in his office at 116 High Street, Old Portsmouth.

Those halcyon days when pen and paper just worked!

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It doesn’t get regular customers like other pubs – but that could all change with the opening of a new beer garden at The Golden Lion.

Married couple Doug and Diane McEwen have held the pumps at the cosy local, in Fareham’s historic High Street, for four years.

They’re looking forward to the summer and hope to expand their patio to accommodate a thriving beer garden.

It is due to be set up and ready for use in the next few weeks.

Diane said: ‘We hope the garden will give us more space for customers as we are a small pub and only have 14 tables.

‘If we get outside sorted we can accept more people.’

The couple mainly rely on people spreading the pub’s name by word of mouth.

But Diane says it’s great when people visit after hearing from their friends how great the place is.

‘We don’t expect to have a list of regulars like some of the other pubs do,’ she said.

‘Being near the city, we get a lot of one-timers but if they recommend a friend then that doesn’t bother me.

‘We have had a lot of independent bodies give us certain accolades which help us with business and customers.’

The pub also stocks real ale supplied through its brewers Fullers.

Last year it had a supply of cask Golden Pride, which has an alcoholic strength of 8.5 per cent.

The ale is made using toasted oranges and dried fruit and the cask variation is rare because the brewery normally sells it in bottles.

Diane said: ‘We are always complimented on the quality of our food and drinks and we have been awarded with the Cask Marque.

‘This is done through an independent adjudicator assessment that looks at our beer and the process of it going from the parlour to it being served.

‘We are so happy that we have got such an award and it shows that we are a good, quality pub with good food and drink.’

The Golden Lion always has a range of activities and themed nights on offer.

They include quizzes and nights for single people to meet potential partners or new friends.

The pub also supports two charities, The Rowans Hospice and The Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which it has raised thousands of pounds for.

The pub was given a shield by the RNLI in recognition for the exceptional work it has done.

HARD-WORKING couple Diane and Doug McEwen say running The Golden Lion is more than just a job.

It’s a place where they can relax and work in a fun atmosphere.

And the pair are always keen to make sure their pub is run to a high standard.

Every Friday and Saturday, they let the chefs cook whatever they want and give customers more choice than usual.

The special dishes can range from scallops to steak and chefs add their own twists on simple dishes like prawn cocktail.

Diane said: ‘This is the second pub we have owned but we wanted to ensure we had high standards of food.

‘That is something Doug and I really care about.

‘You can see that by the reviews done by independent companies.’

As well as the food, Diane and Doug also concentrate on their staff and ensure they get all the help they need in running a pub smoothly.

They put them through customer service courses and train them themselves on how to be the best they can.

Diane said: ‘We want to give our staff the best chance in life and to help them move forward.

‘Doug teaches them how to run the bar and deal with customers.

‘By doing this, it means we can take holidays and have days off without worrying about the pub and if everything is going okay.

‘We can really trust them all to do a great job.’

The pub also has a loveable golden retriever, Monty, who welcomes customers as they come in for a pint.